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Mombasa holds inaugural Ramadhan Quran recitation competition

Mombasa county government has launched its inaugural international Quran (Islam’s holy book) recitation competition for Muslims during the holy month of Ramadhan.

Muslims believe Quran recitation especially during the auspicious occasion of Ramadhan strengthens the faith and belief in Allah besides purifying the soul.

The noble Quran was first revealed to Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) during the month of Ramadhan, the ninth month of the Islamic lunar calendar.

Ramadhan is called the month of the Quran because it was during this month that the Quran was revealed to Prophet Muhammad through Angel (Jibreel) Gabriel.

Muslims also believe that by completing the Quran in Ramadhan means the Quran itself will intercede for Muslims on the Day of Judgment.

Additionally, in a hadith (Sayings of the Prophet) from Sahih Bukhari, Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) stated, ”Read the Quran, for it will come as an intercessor for its reciters on the Day of Resurrection.” This hadith emphasizes the Quran’s intercession for those who read and complete it, particularly during Ramadhan, when its virtues are multiplied.

Muslims are required to fast during the month of Ramadhan which entails abstaining from food, drink, sexual relations and displeasing speech and behaviour from dawn until dusk.

In Surah Al-Anfal (8:2), Allah says,” The ˹true˺ believers are only those whose hearts tremble at the remembrance of Allah, whose faith increases when His revelations are recited to them, and who put their trust in their Lord.”

Governor Abdulswamad Shariff Nassir says the just concluded competition with a price of Sh2.2 million was aimed at promoting the recitation and understanding of the Quran.

Nassir says a Muslim is recommended to read the Quran and do good deeds in this blessed month of Ramadhan as much as he can.

He says the pioneer religious event attracted hundreds of participants from all ages and backgrounds from different parts of the country and beyond.

The Governor says they hope the prestigious competition would lead to a better understanding of the Quran and its recitation among the Muslim youth.

Representatives from Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi and Somalia displayed their expertise drawing thousands of attendees from diverse backgrounds.

Defence Cabinet Secretary Aden Daule (L) with Mombasa Governor Abdulswamad Shariff Nassir during the inaugural Mombasa international Quran recitation competition held at Serani Muslim grounds in Mombasa.

Governor Nassir says the initiative brought together 19 finalists from over a hundred international participants courtesy of the devolved government of Mombasa.

He says the benefits of this endeavor extended far beyond mere recitation offering believers a unique opportunity for spiritual enrichment and personal transformation especially during this blessed time of fasting.

“The coastal county of Mombasa has organized its first Grand International Quran Competition as part of our ongoing efforts to celebrate our diversity and enhance cohesion within our communities,” he said.

Speaking about the competition, the coastal county boss says religion plays a critical role in providing a moral compass to the society.

“We were therefore honoured to host distinguished guests from across the Muslim world who came in solidarity with our vision to use the platform of religion and culture as positive building blocks to combat social vices like drug and substance abuse and violent extremism among the youth,” said Nassir.

The well attended grand finale of the competition was held at the Muslim Serani grounds in Mombasa.

The esteemed event is a highlight of the Islamic holy month of Ramadhan showcasing the exceptional Quran recitation and memorization skills of the young participants emphasising its place in the lives of young Muslims.

Governor Nassir congratulated all the winners of the Quran recitation competition and thanked the participants and supporters for making the maiden religious event a huge success.

The prestigious grand international Quran recitation competition was attended by among others Defence Cabinet Secretary Aden Duale, Mombasa Senator Mohamed Faki, Chief Kadhi Sheikh Abdulhalim Hussein Athman and Sheikh Bilal Philips, an eminent Islamic Scholar.

The attendees witnessed the finals where participants from various counties and countries showcased their mastery of the holy book of Islam as the judges closely observed the competitors’ fluency and precision in recitation.

CS Duale says they are proud that the devolved government of Mombasa has conducted the competition which he noted seeks to promote the recitation and understanding of the Quran among the youth and adults.

“We believe that this competition will inspire more people to read and understand the teachings of the Quran,” he said.

He called on Muslims to spread acts of generosity to Muslims and non-Muslims alike during the blessed month of Ramadhan.

Duale says the annual competition is garnering international attention and underscores Kenya’s role as both an anchor State and unifying force in the region.

The Defence CS used the opportunity to challenge Muslim leaders and faithful to practice what is taught in the Quran, and encourage Muslim women in the country to adhere to the Islamic dressing of hijab.

 By Hussein Abdullahi

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